As Entrepreneurs, especially owners of SMEs… we struggle daily with Workflow… and with our smaller size of teams, the same thing often has to be communicated again and again. What with the high levels of attrition, the myriad number of tasks that we are personally responsible for; it always seems like a juggling act where one ball is always… just out of our reach!! What I have found useful is being able to make Process Documents- for each and every task. This helps us infinitely in DELEGATION!!! YES!! That dreaded task-word for most Entrepreneurs, but also one that is extremely necessary!!
I start small and do it as and when I can. Each and every document done is another task ticked off, and another task that can be explained to others more effectively!! I’m sharing this amazing tool I use to make my process documents. Following another wise friends’ advice (thank you Vineeth Purushothaman!!), this has been shared with the team, so that they make their own documents too!!
Give it a try…. and see hours of your precious time freeing up!!!
(excerpt from the blog post @ http://michaelhyatt.com/successful-delegation.html )
Here are four steps you can take in transforming a workflow into a documented procedure. These steps apply to tasks you are currently doing yourself but want to delegate to someone else.
- Notice the workflow. Whenever you find yourself repeating the same workflow over and over again in the same way, you have a candidate for delegation. This could be anything from answering your phone, to filtering your e-mail, to updating your blog. It could literally be anything.
- Optimize the workflow. Once you have the workflow identified, it is time to fine-tune it. You can do this by eliminating any unnecessary steps. Simplifying your tools can also help. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you have to hire a genius (like you) to perform the procedure. Instead, use your genius to create a simple, reproducible procedure almost anyone could execute.
- Document the workflow. This is the difference-maker. It’s where 95 percent of leaders fail. They expect their staff to read their mind and then wonder why no one can do the job as well as they can.Assume you are training someone with limited experience. Here’s what I do:
- Chose the appropriate documentation tool.
- Write down the workflow as a series of sequential steps.
- Start each step with an action verb.
- Use screenshots or screencasts to illustrate each step in the procedure.
- Test your own procedure by going through each step in a live setting.
- Share the workflow. Once you have tested the procedure and are reasonably confident you have identified all the appropriate steps, it is time to share it with your delegate. Treat this as a beta test. (Note: you’re not Moses and these aren’t the Ten Commandments.) Tell your delegate he will likely find mistakes or steps that aren’t clear. Ask him to help you make the procedure better.
Don’t think of your workflow documentation as a finished product. It is always a work in process. As you discover new tools and think of new insights, you will want to update it.
Yes, delegating something the first time does take more time and effort. You could do it faster and better yourself. But you simply don’t scale. If you want to take your organization—and your life—to the next level, you have to be willing to make the investment.